The start of the 2018 season is just days away now. Most schools around the state will wait until the week before their season opener to play that scrimmage that acts as a final tuneup. After two weeks of official practices, it's a little show-and-tell time under the lights before the real thing.
Don't try selling that to the Lovejoy Wildcats, because they couldn't wait.
Aug. 1 was the first day for practicing in pads, and Aug. 3, just two days later, the Wildcats were among the first teams in the state to hit the field to play a preseason scrimmage. Yep, the Lovejoy Wildcats couldn't wait for Football Fridays In Georgia. The Therrell Panthers made the short drive to Twelve Oaks Stadium. (I guess they couldn't wait either.)
I asked head coach Edgar Carson, why start so soon?
"We always play the very first week," says Carson. "We can have two weeks to prepare for our next opponent. It gives us a chance to fix some mistakes and if there is an injury you get time to recover. I saw some positive things, but I did see some things that we can work on."
Look for Carson to tighten the screws before the regular season opener, as folks in Clayton County expect Lovejoy to win and play in the postseason. The Wildcats string of consecutive playoff appearances goes back to 2010. The coach reminds his team to expect the best from their opponents.
"When we schedule games, just know that nobody wants to play you because you are Lovejoy," says Carson. "We may not have the depth like we used to, but we teach the kids to work hard because they will try and knock you off each week."